Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers and Claire Danes Dig Tel Aviv

Israel's Ministry of Immigration and Absorption might have taken a hit following its ill conceived PR campaign to get Israeli expats to return to Israel, but Tel Aviv is doing great right now in the PR department.

Tel Aviv was on everyone's mind yesterday as news circulated about a planned Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Tel Aviv next fall and a ringing endorsement about Tel Aviv's rockin' party atmosphere from Claire Danes.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers recently signed a deal to perform in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park in September to promote their tenth album. The concert will take place 11 years after the Chili Peppers canceled a performance in Tel Aviv at the last minute in September 2001. The band's first guitarist, Hillel Slovak, was an Israeli who moved to the United States as a child. Slovak died of a heroin overdose in 1988 before the band became famous.

I had a chance to meet the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Palo Alto, California in July 1992 while I was a participant on the USY on Wheels summer youth tour and the Chili Peppers were performing in Lollapalooza.  It so happened that my group was staying in the same hotel as all of the Lollapalooza bands including Pearl Jam. I spent a few minutes talking with Anthony Kiedis of the Chili Peppers while we were waiting for an elevator. Like Pearl Jam, the band has had a very successful run over the past two decades and I'm sure they won't have a hard time selling out their Tel Aviv show.

While the Chili Peppers were signing their names to their Tel Aviv concert agreement, actress Claire Danes was singing Tel Aviv's praises to Conan O'Brien. Talking to the late night host on "Conan," Claire Danes remarked that Tel Aviv (where she filmed part of Showtime's "Homeland") is the most intense party town she's ever been to. She theorized that the reason for this was that it's a very stressful environment and its citizens need to blow off steam.

Most people took Claire Dane's observations about Tel Aviv as a ringing endorsement, but David Abitbol, the founder of Jewlicious, called her theory of Tel Aviv being so stressful into question:

That’s a great observation Claire. It is indeed very stressful in Tel Aviv! Folks stress out over things on a daily basis like “should I get an Americano or a Capuccino?” or “When is that last bus to Holon!?” or “How will I convince the IDF draft office that I am a religious girl now that all those intense party photos of me are on Facebook?” Oh the humanity.

Personally, I think it was great to hear a celebrity saying positive things about Israel on late night TV. Maybe Claire Danes will return to Tel Aviv in September 2012 for the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert? I'm sure she'd have fun at the after parties.

1 comment:

rachel kapen said...

I never heard of Red Hot Chilli Peppers nor of Claire Danes, however, as a native of Tel Aviv I am glad that the group is coming to sing in Park HaYarkon and that she too ;digs" the city and he country. We don't have too many friends. However, as much as I marvel at the metropolis which my Tel Aviv became, I love and yearn for the little Tel Aviv of my childhood, the Tel Aviv my parents help build. I expressed these feelings in the poem I wrote in honor of the city's 100 birthday and which was published in HADOR the annual of Hebrew literature in America which I'll be happy to share with you.